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Martin Luther King, Jr. - Travels

To William Stuart Nelson

King asks Howard University dean William Stuart Nelson for reading material on the caste system in India. Nelson, an advocate of Gandhian nonviolence who had been in India just prior to King’s visit, sent the requested material on 10 April. He added that the civil rights movement in the United States “is proving a source of great encourage ment to and re-awakening of people in India . . .

To Corinne B. Johnson

On 19 March, Bayard Rustin telephoned Johnson to explain that King was “extremely tired upon returning from India and planned “to go directly home to Montgomery” rather than stop in Philadelphia as scheduled to meet with AFSC officials.1 The following day Johnson wrote to King requesting that he come to Philadelphia in April to discuss problems related to his visit to India: “We are aware from our correspondence with Jim Bristol that there were some arrangements which were not entirely satisfac

To Reuben E. Nelson

Just prior to departing for India, King abandoned his plans for a Russian leg of the tour, citing health reasons and “the urgency of the racial conflict in the South.”1 In the following letter King thanks Nelson, the general secretary of the American Baptist Convention, for the organization’s contribution to his trip to India and explains that a visit to the Soviet Union might “have taken on too many political connotations.”2 Ne

To Sammy Davis, Jr.

King thanks Davis for his "wonderful support" of the upcoming 27 January 1961 Carnegie Hall "Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr." 1 King also praises aspiring playwright Oscar Brown's musical Kicks & Co. for its portrayal of "the conflict of soul, the moral choices that confront our people, both Negro and white."

Mr. Sammy Davis, Jr.
Sherry-Netherland Hotel
5th Avenue at 59th Street
New York 22, New York

From Myles Horton

Highlander Folk School director Myles Horton updates King on the Tennessee legislature's investigation of the leadership training school. Shortly after King's September 1957 address at Highlander, the Georgia Commission on Education published a report alleging that the school was a Communist front organization.1 For the next several years, southern state officials and segregationist groups used the allegations to thwart Highlander’s efforts to promote racial and economic justice.

From Jawaharlal Nehru

In December 1956, while meeting with a group of Quakers in New York City, Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru "responded with enthusiasm" to the possibility of meeting King.1 Though King had hoped to travel to India in 1957, continuing southern racist violence and his obligations as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) forced him to postpone the trip until February 1959.2 Intermediaries attempted

From Stanley D. Levison

In December 1956 King met New York attorney Stanley Levison, who would become one of his primary legal, financial, and tactical advisors. In a 15 December 1958 letter, King invited Levison to submit a bill "for all of the things that you are doing to lessen my load and also to save me money."1 In this reply Levison explains that his participation in the struggle for civil rights "is payment enough," and adds: "I am indebted to you, not you to me." King replied on 12 January.


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